Caesarean section - emergency

An emergency caesarean is section necessary if complications develop and delivery needs to be urgent. This may be before or during labour.

If your midwife and doctor are concerned about your or your baby’s safety, they will suggest that you have a caesarean straight away.

How urgent is urgent?

In Newcastle we follow national guidelines to grade emergency caesarean sections into grades 1 to 3.

A Grade 1 caesarean section is performed straight away and is done if there is an immediate threat to the life of the mother or baby.

Grade 2 is used if there is compromise to the mother or baby, but this is not immediately life threatening.

Grade 3 is used if there is no immediate risk to mother or baby but the delivery is thought to be safer by caesarean section.

In every case - whatever the grade - we avoid unnecessary delay and each decision is confirmed with the consultant obstetrician on-call for the Delivery Suite.

Consent in an emergency

It is your decision whether to have an emergency caesarean section (or any other form of treatment) and your wishes will be respected. For the most urgent cases (Grade 1) we require your agreement (consent) verbally. For Grade 2 and 3 written agreement (consent) is necessary as for a planned caesarean section.

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